>burning down villages

>burning down villages
Why was this done so often historically? I thought it was some pop-culture/pop-history/fantasy meme, but apparently not. Are these villages not useful to the conqueror? It could be taken down for resources, used as a place of rest, left alone so another population can move in and be pillaged again, etc. I can't think of a single logical reason for this besides spite or pyromania.

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  1. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    That's the whole point of pillaging. Take the good shit and burn the rest.

  2. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Denial of assets to the enemy.

    Besides, not all wars were wars of conquest. Sometimes you just wanted to loot shit and destroy your enemy's production capacity.

  3. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Also most villages and hamlets were disposable in the grand scheme of things. If it didn't have anything useful building wise, just burn the fricker down.

  4. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Plenty of times it wasn’t even intentional. Lamps, candles, cookfires left unattended + the end made of combustible materials + disruption of any sort of fire fighting efforts = large fire.

  5. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    F SOCIETY

  6. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Castle sieges were the dominant form of warfare for almost a millenia. If you want to take the castle, you must destroy what feeds it, which is usually the surrounding villages.

  7. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    This sounds like pop history bullshit, but sometimes the answer was literally "for fun".
    Getting to loot valuables and rape women was one of the few perks of being a soldier and one of the few things you had to look forward in your life of eating shitty food, marching, sleeping outside, and probably dying horribly at some point. There were several occasions during the Roman civil wars in which Roman armies would sack Roman towns full of Roman citizens just because if their generals didn't let them do it, they would have to answer to their soldiers (who were at that point being held way past their original enlistment period on the promise of bonuses which they weren't being paid because the economy was fricked).

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      So what you are saying is when in Rome do as the Romans do.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >This sounds like pop history bullshit, but sometimes the answer was literally "for fun".
      Oh I can easily imagine just doing it for kicks during a viking raid or in a civil war, but even more "professional" armies or ones led by high level aristocrats seemed to do it at times. Seems like it'd be bad for legitimacy. No sense in angering peasants toward you if you were the one looking to take their territory.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        Professional armies were the ones doing the pillaging because that's how Professional armies get paid. Bear in mind that Professional armies are mercenary in nature.
        As for nobility "not pillaging" for the sake of "legitimacy" your notable example of this happening is Henry V of England prior to Agincourt and it was notable because it was so unusual.

  8. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    If you destroy your enemy's town center, he can't produce any more villagers allowing you to get an economic lead
    If you destroy your enemy's production buildings, he can't produce more military allowing you to more easily take map control or close out the game
    If you destroy your enemy's market, he can't balance his eco, thus making it harder to recover from your attack
    If you destroy your enemy's blacksmith you deny him the opportunity to catch up on upgrades allowing your military to more easily take better fights

  9. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    The "fire master" would go door to door in a conquered town demanding all the valuables/loot and if it was deemed enough he wouldn't set your house on fire. It's a way to speed up pillaging.

    The other reason would be to deny the enemy resources. Norway burnt down it's own capital to prevent the Swedes from effectively besieging the castle, and it worked. Which is why only the old castle and a small stone church are older than 1600

  10. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Food is a strategic resource, especially in the times when a good number of military casualties were inevitably due to starvation. Everyone needs peasants to grow food for their armies. No one wants peasants growing food for enemy armies. If you can't take it, deny it.

  11. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Most of these answers are moronic, burning villages served 2 important purposes in medieval warfare: primarily it was a way to bait out an enemy lord, as motte and bailey castles were nigh impregnable unless subjected to long and expensive sieges, so it was easier to try and bait a lord out to face you in open battle by fricking up his lands. Secondly, burning villages was a form of economic warfare that hit an enemy lord’s pocket by damaging the productivity of his lands.

  12. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >conqueror
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevauch%C3%A9e
    They didn't always stay.

  13. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Lords Of The Realm 2 was an interesting game because it was the first game I ever played that allowed you to run a medieval war campaign like it should be run and how it was run.
    I would continually make small armies of peasants and run them across the borders to burn the enemies fields and thing and gradually break down his economy until I could take his vastly weakened army with my army of professional soldiers. It was incredibly effective because of the way the game's economy tried to mimic the growing season. If you disrupted it at any point during the year, those crops were done for the year and couldn't be harvested. This would force him to spend his other resources trying to buy food instead of building castles, equipping troops etc.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      Anybody with a brain who's played Starcraft can extrapolate from
      >wreck his mineral line
      To
      >burn the farms

  14. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Because your unskilled labor, skilled labor, military, and administrative pools were all the same groups of people. Wars would last for insane periods of time because your soldiers had to go back home to farm and/or build your fortifications and infrastructure.
    Even if you don't recall them, which you should if you don't want to starve, they'd just leave to rebuild homes for their families.

  15. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    To deny enemy resources, shits and giggles, people burning shit not considering their opponents humans, etc. For example, during the Russian occupation of Finland during the Great Northern War, the standard mode of operation for Russian forces in Northern Finland was to burn down settlements (even when said settlements had paid them protection money in hopes of not getting pillaged), loot everything valuable, kill men, and enslave women and children, all supposedly done in order to hinder a potential Swedish counterattack.

  16. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >Why did you set the thatched hut on fire?
    Probably because it is easy.

  17. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Really depends. A foreign conqueror might burn down the villages and replace them with his own people. Other times, the land it's just not at all conquered and is just a casualty of a marauding army that is maneuvering or pillaging

    For a marauding army, they would do it for the following reasons:
    >for "fun" by your soldiers after despoiling the women and robbing anything valuable. In ancient societies you would also enslave the populace en masse
    >destroy productive assets that enrich the enemy
    >force the enemy to come fight you if they're avoiding battle against your army

  18. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    The obvious answer is economic warfare. The less obvious answer is a result that wasn't properly understood at the time; that being population displacement. If you burn a village/town/city, you're not just depriving its ruling polity of resources, but creating internal refugees. These refugees are often as devastating to nearby communities as the enemy; worsening shortages, increasing ethnic/cultural tensions, raising living costs and devaluing labour. An older example would be the internal displacement of whole towns during the Seven Years War. A newer example would be the Russo-Ukraine War with its small exodus and flooding of western-Ukrainian cities with the dispossessed from the east. Ukraine has the advantage of spinning foreign aggression into nationalism to lessen tensions, but the various states across the Germanies had only passing familiarity with each other. These effects were known and considered useful in destabilising the enemy's supply of food, crafts and recruits, but their longreaching implications of depressing entire regions' economies for decades simply couldn't be studied. The material benefits of either burning or simply letting an enemy settlement burn were immediate, while the lingering effects were simply not known and thus not taken into account.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >a result that wasn't properly understood at the time; that being population displacement
      quite sure they understood depriving the enemy of food while at the same time burdening them with useless mouths
      very basic math

  19. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    You wouldnt notice an ugly hamlet in an ugly village during the day, but at night when it burns it looks amazing.
    >wall of text, Im not reading that, cope, seethe, dilate, reddit, ect;
    >tl;dr
    Pretty Villages make pretty flames

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